Nunley Sets Kentucky Record With 10-0 Start

Former Soddy-Daisy Star Has 2.16 ERA

Thursday, March 7, 2013 - by special report to chattanoogan.com

LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the third consecutive week since entering the rankings on Feb. 12, the University of Kentucky softball team has moved up in both collegiate softball polls to No. 15 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 and No. 17 in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25, it was announced Tuesday.

Kentucky’s top-15 posting in this week’s ESPN.com/USA Softball poll ties the highest ranking by the outlets in school history. The Wildcats were also ranked 15th nationally by ESPN.com/USA Softball on April 26, 2011. The highest ranking in school history was 13th in the 2012 USA Today/NFCA preseason rankings. All national rankings have come during the tenure of sixth-year head coach

ukathletics.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/rachel_lawson_363819.html">Rachel Lawson.

UK began the season receiving votes in both polls before entering the rankings for the first time on Feb. 12 at No. 22/24. The Wildcats inched up to No. 20/21 the following week before entering the top 20 in both polls last week at No. 17/19.

The move up the rankings comes after UK went undefeated in consecutive tournaments for the first time in school history. The Wildcats went 3-0 in the Coke Zero Spartan Classic two weeks ago before posting a 5-0 mark in the Under Armour Invitational last weekend. The eight-game winning streak – which ties the longest in school history – moved UK to 16-3 on the year, which is the best record UK has ever had 19 games into a season. The previous mark was 15-4 by the 2011 squad.

Kentucky has earned the strong start against a trying schedule, playing eight of its 19 games against team that are currently ranked or receiving votes in either poll. UK has four wins over currently ranked teams in No. 6/6 California, No. 16/19 Washington, No. 19/18 Stanford and No. rv/23 Oregon State. The Wildcats have also defeated USC Upstate, who is receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and USF, who is receiving votes in both polls. Cal and USF were participants in the 2012 Women’s College World Series.

The Wildcats’ three losses this season have come to No. 1/2 Oklahoma, No. 3/3 Arizona State and unranked Portland State.

Kentucky’s schedule does not get easier as the Wildcats begin Southeastern Conference action this weekend against Ole Miss. The Wildcats are scheduled to face eight teams that are either ranked or receiving votes in either poll, spanning 19 games. UK will play three-game sets against No. 2/1 Alabama, No. 4/4 Florida, No. 7/5 Missouri, No. 12/12 LSU and Mississippi State, who is receiving votes in both polls. The Wildcats will also have a home-and-home series with No. 13/13 Louisville and single-game contests against No. 25/25 North Carolina and Iowa, who is receiving votes in both polls.

The SEC is well represented in the rankings with seven teams in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 and eight teams in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25. Alabama, Florida, Texas A&M, Missouri and Tennessee are in the top 10 in both polls, while LSU is 12th in both polls and Georgia is 24th in the USA Today/NFCA poll and receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. Mississippi State is receiving votes in both polls.

For the latest on UK softball, follow "@UKSoftball" on Twitter or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.

(NOTE: Throughout the release, the ESPN.com/USA Softball ranking is listed first, followed by the USA Today/NFCA ranking.)

Nunley Sets School Record with 10-0 Start: University of Kentucky freshman pitcher Kelsey Nunley from Soddy-Daisy High School, is off to an impressive start to her collegiate career with a 10-0 record, becoming the first player in school history to start a season 10-0 in the circle.

Nunley leads the Wildcats with a 2.16 earned-run average this season in a team-high 68 innings pitched with 55 strikeouts. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., has five complete games and one shutout on the year and has allowed only 21 earned runs. In her six starts this season, Nunley is 6-0 with a 1.23 ERA, throwing 40 innings with 37 strikeouts and only seven earned runs.

The rookie hurler is coming off a strong showing in the Under Armour Invitational, where she went 3-0 with a 1.94 ERA. Nunley threw 21.2 innings for the Wildcats over the weekend, allowing six earned runs with 18 strikeouts.

Nunley’s wins have come against stiff competition this season, as she has earned wins against highly ranked Stanford, Washington and Oregon State. The freshman also won against San Diego State and USC Upstate, who both were receiving votes earlier in the year.

Nunley has earned the 10-0 start in just 13 appearances, shattering the previous school-best win-loss record in 13 appearances or less. Current UK student assistant coach Chanda Bell, who holds nearly every career pitching record in school annals, went 8-3 in 13 appearances her freshman season in 2009, while current junior pitcher Ellen Weaver is the only other Wildcat to go undefeated after 13 appearances in the circle, posting a 6-0 record to start the 2011 season.

(E-mail Stan Crawley at wscrawley@earthlink.net)

.


Randy Smith: Prelude To National Signing Day

I have never been one to get very excited about college football recruiting. It doesn't matter how many "blue-chip" players or "five-star" players you sign into your program, if you don't keep them and develop them into the great athletes they are projected to be, you haven't succeeded at all. Alabama has signed four straight top-rated classes in a row, but the Crimson Tide's last ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Celebrate's Byrd's 1000 Point, Defeats Sequatchie County

Notre Dame celebrated Tyler Byrd's 1000th career point Tuesday evening. Byrd tallied his 1000 point against Bledsoe County on December 16th. The Irish also celebrated a 68-42 win over Sequatchie County. Notre Dame was led by Bird with 21 points in Tuesday night's win. Kealey Green added 19 for the Irish while Greer and Flemister scored 11 and 10 points each. Sequatchie ... (click for more)

Denso Manufacturing In Athens, Tn. To Invest More Than $85 Million, Create 400 Jobs

Governor Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd along with DENSO Manufacturing Athens Tennessee (DMAT) officials announced on Wednesday the company will expand production of its gasoline direct injection (GDI) capability in Athens by building a new 224,000-square-foot facility at its existing location. DENSO, a leading global automotive supplier ... (click for more)

Times Free Press Pays Bonuses, Has Layoffs

The Chattanooga Times Free Press told employees on Monday that the newspaper had improved financial performance over the prior year quarters and employees were receiving two percent bonuses. Sources said at the same time, the newspaper announced some layoffs. Those include four people in the newsroom and an unspecified number in other departments. Bruce Hartmann, president, ... (click for more)

Shelley Andrews Will Be Missed

Shelley Andrews was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and most effective laborers in our community.  Her work with the Friends of Moccasin Bend was exemplary.  She listened, she learned and she led with dignity and class. Her brave battle with ovarian cancer was a testament to her positive spirit and commitment to her work on behalf of the people of this region. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: He’s Exempt From Drunk

I love the old story about a popular Senator who, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, was asked late one evening, “Sir, what if we get bombed?” to which came the quick reply, “I’d be absolutely delighted … I can get one of my aides to drive us home afterwards.” You think of stuff like that when word comes from Kentucky that state legislator Brandon Smith was caught driving erratically ... (click for more)